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An end to AWS' public cloud dominance? Cloud Foundry offers vision of multi-cloud era

Matthew Finnegan | Oct. 4, 2016
Tools like BOSH are making it easier to deploy between major cloud providers

BOSH makes multi-cloud easier for ops teams

A central part of Cloud Foundry's multi-cloud aims is the BOSH open source deployment and moinitoring tool, which also supports other platforms such as Hadoop and OpenStack. Ramji highlighted Google as one of the cloud providers building a Cloud Provider Interface (CPI) for BOSH.

"BOSH is our platform for platforms," said Ramji. "This is what gives us its multi-cloud capability, so we can support all these different clouds."

This makes life easier for ops teams to connect more easily between the big cloud players, and also could open the market up more to smaller niche or regional cloud providers.

EngineerBetter's Young described BOSH as "the travel adaptor for cloud".

"I will be able to run exactly the same deployment and the same releases on a different cloud," he said.

Open source as a foundation for multi-cloud?

One of the main focuses of Cloud Foundry's Ramji keynote was that open source software is a "positive sum game..where the more of us who play the game the better the game itself becomes".

Ramji highlighted the growth stats around Cloud Foundry, with 31,000 code commits, 2,500 contributors and 130 core committers. It has also added Cisco and ComCast to its membership such as GE Digital.

As an open source foundation, freedom of choice is at the heart of Cloud Foundry's pitch. At the same time, there are concerns that one commercial vendor, Dell-EMC-owned Pivotal - which created an open source foundation for Cloud Foundry - is so clearly dominant.

Young acknowledged that this is an area which needs improvement: "It is going to get better and you can see the rate of growth in that membership and all we can do is open more dojos and encourage people to become [code] committers and try and change it."

Nevertheless, he claimed that growing the open source community around is vital to offering the choice that has perhaps been lacking in the cloud market in the past.

"This is where open source steps into the picture," he said.

"What it is effectively doing is allowing us to effectively create a competitive market space in cloud.

"Whereas we had a very captive market space in the early days of AWS, it is much more in keeping with Sam Ramji's idea of this positive sum game to have a competitive marketplace by using things like Cloud Foundry where everyone is put on a more level playing field.

"Having things like BOSH and Cloud Foundry together wrapped in this idea that you have not just one company in control of things but over 60 different companies in control of things."

 

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